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The Truth about Working in Fast Food

The constant smell of grease penetrates clothing forever

Working long shifts around fry vats makes it impossible to avoid getting greasy. While it is common for hands and faces to become greasier than usual, what some people don’t know is how much clothing soaks up the smell of grease and french fries. I also find that no matter how many times I wash my uniform, it will always have the lingering smell of french fries. 


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Dealing with angry customers becomes easier with time

When I first started my job, my biggest fear was dealing with angry customers. During my training process, I noticed the terrible way some customers treated the employees. Unfortunately, being new comes with making mistakes, and I had to face my fears of getting yelled at head on. While it might sound cheesy, the bad experiences truly make you stronger and through my bad experiences I was able to develop better communication skills, the ability to see the bigger picture in bad situations, and a much thicker skin.


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I have developed many skills I would have never learned otherwise

 

Sure, fast food does not seem like the most difficult job and is often seen negatively by the outside world, however, regardless of the way it may be viewed, it does take a certain amount of skill to be good at working a fast food job. 

After working in fast food for the past five years, I can honestly say that I was not good at my job when I first began. I was not able to multitask, I did not have sufficiently developed communication skills and I did not have the confidence in myself to know I was good at what I was doing. It took me a long time and a lot of experience to develop these skills that will only benefit me in my future career. 


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There is a true sense of family among co-workers

When I first started working in fast food, I felt like an outsider. I was a 15 year old girl, starting my first job, and I had no idea what I was doing at any step of the way. What many people might not know is that many fast food places often have crew outings where the crew is  able to communicate outside of the workplace, grow as a team, and become more comfortable with each other. Through these experiences, I was able to develop many friendships that have continued outside of the workplace and that helped shape me into the person that I am today. 


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I have definitely gotten sick of the food

Working in the same  restaurant for 5 years, I have eaten way too much fast food. I’ll admit, the ability to get half off food from my favourite fast food restaurant seemed too good to be true at the beginning. Once I worked my way up to management, I was able to get free food whenever I was working. This was very dangerous for me, and definitely caused me to indulge more than I  should have. However, when you’re eating the same fast food so often, you will eventually get very sick of it! 


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It is one of the most flexible jobs around

One of the main reasons that I have stuck around my job for so long is the flexibility aspect. I feel genuinely privileged that I can very easily trade shifts, give shifts away, or book time off. Especially being in University, I really need a job that works around my schedule and provides me with hours when I am available to work. 


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Overall, my experience has made a more well-rounded person.

There are definitely times when I really hate working, but when I reflect, I can’t help but think of all the incredible ways how  working in a fast food restaurant has worked towards making me a more self-reliant, confident, and overall just a better person. In dealing with angry customers, I have developed communication skills that will help me deal with parents as a future teacher. Learning how to multi-task  and preparing orders will only benefit me when the time comes for me to manage a classroom. As a manager, learning how to respectively manage crew members taught me a ton of lessons that I will take to my classroom and has influenced the way I will treat my students. Overall, I feel blessed to have been able to work in fast food, and I will never forget the immense lessons I gained from the experience. 


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Samantha Godden

UWindsor '22

Samantha Godden is a third year student at the University of Windsor in the Concurrent Education/French Studies program. She loves to spend her time travelling, reading and napping. She aspires to be a teacher after graduation.
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